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College Grad Needs Help

Hey guys

I graduate with a B.S. in Equine studies back in May. I took a job as an assistant trainer/manager at a dressage facility, but, honestly, things aren’t going well. The owner micromanages everything and I’m just not happy.

The problem is, I don’t know what to do next. I don’t think training is what I want to do, but I don’t know what is, or how to get there. Any help you guys can give would be great. What are some jobs, outside of training and barn work that I should pursue? Are there office jobs that I haven’t heard of? Things that are on the outskirts of the equine industry? And how would I get started in that career (since most “entry level” positions require 4-6 years experience)?

Thanks in advance

A young girl freaking out about her life

Any equine products you love? Look at SmartPak, Dover, feed/supplement companies (Blue Seal, Cargill) – they always have smart young educated people representing them. Go to Equine Affaire and talk to the people working the booths. If you hate training for the for-profit horse world, then consider working for a rescue – some are big enough with deep enough pockets to have in-house trainers. It’s a big business out there. Not necessarily full of attractive jobs, but, you’ve come this far – keep moving ahead. Talk to people involved in PATH Intl., Kentucky Horse Park, Horses & Humans Research Foundation. Good luck!

It sounds like your boss’s behavior is what’s bothering you, so things might look totally different if you worked for/with a better human.

Try your same gig with someone else (give it at least three) to see if it’s the whole gig that is bothering you or just a sh*tty individual.

Echoing meupatdoes. I have had several terrible jobs that made me want to quit heading down the pro path or even horses all together. I am now happily teaching and training at multiple barns and loving my career because I carefully select the individuals I work for and won’t hesitate to leave if I feel they are overstepping boundaries. It can be tough starting out as the first few years are a lot of dirty work and many people promise a lot and don’t deliver.

That being said, some of my friends that did equine studies are employed by the ushja, aqha, or other industry associations and seem to really enjoy their jobs. Others are involved with smaller horse supply businesses either in a sales or marketing position. All graduated with solely an equine studies degree.

OP sounds somewhat like our youngest daughter, she ended up as an Animal Science major then went to manage a large horse operation … which without notice to her they decided they wanted to be a game ranch instead of a horse operation… leaving her out of a job.

Not happy.

Daughter decided to look into teaching, took the alternative pathway teaching certification testing, passed without a problem to teach high school sciences then found a position that needed a tennis coach (college connections paid off)… she never ever played tennis before… applied for the position of teaching, got the job and was named regional tennis coach of the year

Why teaching? She saw this as an opportunity to do whatever she wanted… at least here the pay is pretty good as she makes the same as an RN, her work year is about 180 days, she gets all holidays off, she is able to travel the world

Agree with look at jobs in the retail portion of the horse industry. Feed manufacturers, animal pharmaceutical industry, business like Smart Pak etc.